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  • Microsoft’s reported ‘Spartan’ browser will be lighter, more flexible than Internet Explorer

    Instead of revamping Internet Explorer for the launch of Windows 10, a new report claims Microsoft plans to start from scratch with a new browser, dubbed “Spartan.”

    Mary Jo Foley of ZDNet reported Monday that Spartan could ship alongside Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 10, due sometime in the latter half of 2015. The purpose of Spartan is twofold, Foley reports: first, as a lightweight alternative to IE, but with the foundation for third-party extensions; and as a marketing “do-over” for Internet Explorer, to do away with Internet Explorer’s legacy once and for all.

    Finally, Foley suggests that eventually Spartan could debut on alternative platforms like iOS and Android, much like the Bing search app can replace the search widget on Android devices, for example.

    Technically, the browser will use Microsoft’s Chakra JavaScript engine and Microsoft’s Trident rendering engine (not WebKit), according to Foley. But the more interesting aspect is probably Microsoft’s marketing thrust.

    In aggregate, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer is still the most popular browser in the world, holding steady at 58 percent of the user base throughout all of 2014, according to NetApplications. Google’s Chrome is steadily climbing, however, from 16.4 percent to over 20 percent at the end of November. (Opera and Firefox are steadily losing share.)

    But Microsoft still seems determined to pick at the scab of its legacy browsers, with a video campaign mocking “the browser you loved to hate” and similar exercises. (IE 6 still stands as one of the 25 worst tech products ever invented.) Chrome developed as an alternative to Microsoft’s conservatism in standards adoption, and Chrome still stands atop IE in terms of support for HTML5 standards. Nevertheless, most would argue that IE has substantially improved from prior versions, even if some techies pooh-pooh using it in favor of an alternative.

    It would seem, however, that Microsoft might be best served by making Spartan a choice in upcoming tech previews, then settling on a single browser for future versions. Assuming that Spartan lives up to what Foley says are its promises—lightweight, standards-compliant, available on multiple platforms—then Microsoft could launch Spartan as Apple launched OS X: a radical revamp, yes, but one with enormous benefits as a foundation for future development. We’ll be interested to see what strategy Microsoft pursues.

  • Twas the day after Christmas…

       Twas the day after Christmas and all through the house every creature was hurting even the mouse. the toys where all broken, there batteries dead, Santa passed out with some ice on his head, wrapping and ribbons covered the floor while upstairs the family continued to snore. and I in my t-shirt new Reeboks and jeans, I Went into the kitchen and started to clean. When Out on the Lawn there arose such a clatter i sprang from the sink to see what was the matter. Away to the window I Flew like a flash, tore open the shutters and threw up the sash. When What to my wondering eyes should appear but a little white truck with an over-sized rear. The Driver was smiling so lively and grand, the patch on his jacket said US Post Man. With a hand full of bills he grinned like a fox and quickly he stuffed them into my box. bill after bill after bill they still came, whistling and shouting he called them by name, Now Bon Ton now Macy’s now penny now Lowe’s hears Sears & Marshalls, Target and Home Depot to the tip of your limit every store every mall. Charge away charge away charge away all. He whooped and he whistled as he finished his work, he filled up the box and turned with a jerk. he sprang to his truck and drove down the road. Driving much faster with just half a load. Than I heard him explain with much holiday cheer. Enjoy What you bought you will be paying all year.